No. 387. Bölkow Bö 208 Junior (N7004V c/n 541) "Lufttänzer"
Photographed at Evergreen Airfield, Vancouver, Washington, USA, August 1974, by Ron Dupas

Bölkow Bö 208 Junior

10/24/2005. Remarks by Walter 'Buzz' Natzke: "Manufactured in 1963 and named Lufttänzer (Airdancer) this aircraft belonged to my father, Robert Natzke, of Porterville, California, USA. Our primary adventures involved cumulus clouds. Dad and I used to watch for those days when the big, puffy, cumulus clouds were floating lazily across the sky of our southern San Joaquin Valley hometown of Porterville.

I'd get a call and hear Dad's voice on the line saying, "Let's go shoot down the clouds". We'd get to the airport as quick as we could and take off. Often, the clouds were higher than they looked from the ground and it would take a fair while to get up to altitude. Once there, we would fly around, over, under, through the clouds. But it was a wonderful experience with my father.

Dad and I once had a near-death experience in her. We had gone up for a short flight after an airshow in Porterville, the last day when all of the "show" planes were leaving. While landing, just after a P-51 had taken off on the runway ahead of us, the wingtip vortices of the Mustang lingered on the runway.

When we were at about 20 ft (6 m), the vortices got underneath the left wing. I was able to accomplish a close inspection of the runway asphalt and centerline out the right-hand of the bubble until Dad got hold of her and brought us in safely. I'm glad the Bolkow has a stick as I think that is what enabled Dad to manage the feat.

The canopy in the photo is a replacement of the damaged original, and was made by Burt Rutan. Dad had met Burt when he brought his Variviggen to the Porterville Moonlight Fly-in. At that time Burt was in production on the VariEze kits, and was set up to make their bubble canopies. So he customized a jig and made the new one."

The following text from Aviation Week is not unique to the aircraft pictured:
06/19/1961. The Bölkow Junior was first developed as the Andreasson BA-7 by a ConVair engineer. Control stick is between the two side-by-side seats.